Q&A Interview with Jonathan Moyo
Former cabinet minister, Jonathan Moyo (JM), speaks to Spotlight Zimbabwe Editor, Itai Mushekwe (IM).
Professor Jonathan Moyo, thank you for giving us your time, to attend to this your first ever interview with Spotlight Zimbabwe.
IM: What is your current assessment of the political and economic situation in Zimbabwe. President Emmerson Mnangagwa has been talking about a so called Second Republic, aimed at opening the country for business with the globe, yet he has admitted at international fora such as the World Economic Forum (WEF), that Zimbabwe’s economy and currency has collapsed. Is this man fit to be President?
JM: As I understand it, the nub of your question is whether Mnangagwa is fit to be President. In light of the ongoing destruction of livelihoods on an industrial scale against the backdrop of the collapse of the economy in two short years, the answer to the question whether Mnangagwa is fit to be President is blowing in the wind as a resounding no from all angles and perspectives.
Mnangagwa’s descriptions of Zimbabwe since the November 2017 military coup as a second republic was not a well-considered ideological or policy template to create investment and business opportunities in the country but just rehearsed hot air that even Mnangagwa himself has since abandoned. The bottom line is that Mnangagwa is not presidential material. He is a mean spirited and cruel intelligence spook cum clan politician who has had the presidency thrust upon him by a military coup. He does not know what to do with the presidency because he knows no statecraft besides spilling blood, torturing people and looting state coffers through cartels of one sort or another.
The devastating reality of Mnangagwa’s presidential incapacity speaks for itself. The writing on the widening and deepening political crisis and economic meltdown in Zimbabwe is on the wall, and everyone can see that Mnangagwa has failed not only to turnaround the economy and facilitate international engagement to halt the ongoing destruction of livelihoods but also to unite and rally his party, his cabinet, his politburo, the security forces and services, the public services, the business community and professionals; let alone the country.
In two very short years, Mnangagwa has turned Zimbabwe into a Hobbesian state of nature where life is poor, nasty, brutish and short; with everyone fighting against everyone. Instead of galvanising the country, he has polarised and primitivised it.
IM: The late President Robert Mugabe in September 2017, during a presidential youth interface meeting at Chipadze stadium in Bindura, intimated that the bad blood between President Mnangagwa and yourself stems from the 2004 “Tsholotsho Declaration” that saw you being expelled from Zanu PF. Have you personally fallen out with the president, and is the bad blood real?
JM: That’s what the pro-Mnangagwa CIO elements told President Mugabe, but the truth is different and more nuanced than that. Mnangagwa himself knows better that I have never had time or respect for him, and he also knows the reasons why.
A lot of outright lies have been told about the so-called Tsholotsho Declaration to a point where it has become a useless legend. There isn’t much more to say about that as I have exposed the lies in various fora, including most recently in my book on how the 2018 presidential election was stolen for Mnangagwa, Excelgate.
Many say I was expelled from Zanu PF after the Tsholotsho saga or because of it, but that’s not true. Rather, I was considered to have expelled myself after I sought the Tsholotsho parliamentary seat in 2005 as a Zanu PF independent. Yes, I contested as a Zanu PF independent. This fact is ignored or misrepresented by people with their own agendas. My 2005 election manifesto was expressly Zanu PF through and through. Yet there’s lots of garbage about that out there.
On the so-called Tsholotsho Declaration, contrary to the self-indulgent claims that I organised it for Mnangagwa, and that I had a major fallout with him after he allegedly did not support me when I was expelled from Zanu PF; the truth is that the event was organised by Jacob Mudenda, who was then chairman of Zanu PF’s Matabeleland North province. Mudenda worked with Believe Gaule, who was then the party’s Tsholotsho District Coordinating Committee (DCC). The two approached me only a few days before the event to help them extend an official invitation to Mnangagwa with whom they were already in contact, having attended a similar event in his honour, some weeks earlier, at which he was the guest of honour at a speech and prize giving day at Ntalale High School in Gwanda, Matabeleland South.
The request by Mudenda and Gaule for me to officially invite Mnangagwa plus some cabinet ministers was done as a ploy by Mnangagwa’s cronies to have my fingerprints in the organisation of the event in order to get me to be seen as having endorsed it. In particular, Gaule did this because he knew that I was vehemently opposed to Mnangagwa’s shenanigans. In the end, I accepted to extend the invitations and I asked Francis Nhema to go with me to Parliament Building to invite Mnangagwa with whom I had no communication or access. Nhema did all the talking and Mnangagwa was only too happy to accept the invitation, which he had in fact engineered.
I accepted the request from Zanu PF Matabeleland North Province and the party’s Tsholotsho DCC after resolving that I, with others I was in communication with in Matabeleland on how best to deal with the region’s vexing problems, would use the opportunity to get Mnangagwa to come to terms with and atone for his gukurahundi atrocities by supporting the region’s developmental agenda. In addition, I saw Mnangagwa’s quest for a seat in Zanu PF’s presidium as an opportunity to reform the presidency of the party and ipso facto of the country’s presidency by rotating it among the Zezurus, Karangas, Manyikas and Ndebeles. I wrote about this at the time in the Zimbabwe Independent.
There was no question of me supporting Mnangagwa for any office. He knew and understood that very well. That’s why Mnangagwa publicly distanced himself from me, one week after the Tsholotsho event, at a meeting convened by President Mugabe at Elangeni Training Centre in Bulawayo to review the so-called Tsholotsho Declaration.
In any event, what President Mugabe described as bad blood between Mnangagwa and me did not start with the Tsholotsho event. It’s been always there, since the gukurahundi days. Mnangagwa personally and physically masterminded and coordinated the mass murder of our fathers, mothers, siblings, relatives and friends in Matabeleland. He is the butcher of Matabeleland. One of the major reasons, I went into active Zanu PF politics was to decisively deal with Mnangagwa, politically. My confronting him directly and openly in Mugabe’s last days from 2015 to 2017 was not a coincidence, or an eleventh-hour or last-minute thing but a culmination of a longstanding purpose. So, you see, there’s more than bad blood between Mnangagwa and me, it’s a clash over integrity, common decency and the meaning of humanity itself.
Mnangagwa is not just unpresidential or unfit to be president, he’s inhumane. He defends his criminality by inventing crimes and all manner of nonsense against his opponents.
In 2004 Mnangagwa got his Mberengwa clan to invent a sexual orientation for me to falsely claim that I am gay. They did this by using Munyaradzi Hwengwere, who was then George Charamba’s deputy in the information ministry to introduce to the ministry Alum Mpofu, a Mnangagwa protégé, as a prospective ZBC CEO. Hwengwere explained to us that Alum Mpofu had worked in the middle management ranks of SABC and that he was a strong Zanu PF cadre close to Mnangagwa. At the time, Hwengwere – a former student of mine – had my ear, not least because he was a hard-working and competent public servant. Alum Mpofu was well-spoken. My inclination, and that of Gideon Gono who was then ZBC board chairman, had been to hire Anan Maruta but Hwengwere and company prevailed with their choice of Alum Mpofu and got the ministry to hire him. In the early days of his assignment at ZBC, Mpofu was impressive in terms of his planning and vision-articulation. But in no time, the ministry started hearing stories of Alum Mpofu and boys at Pockets Hill. The stories were of nauseating promiscuity. Then the ministry was hit by the scandal that broke the camel’s back when the press ran headline stories about Alum Mpofu caught in a compromising gay storm at Tipperary Club in Harare, owned by Pearson Mbalekwa, another Mnangagwa protégé. After that incident, ridiculous stories started flying around in Mnangagwa’s circles that Alum Mpofu and Jonathan Moyo were having a gay relationship. It was rank madness. A sexual orientation had been invented for me and the rest became history. It’s notable even to this day that it’s Mnangagwa’s people who rant and rave about the sexual orientation they invented for me in 2004. Apart from my objection to their ridiculous invention, I strongly object to their weaponising a sexual orientation, which s3exual orientation is a human right, as an insult and a term of demonisation for their political purposes. But that is Mnangagwa for you.
There’s more about him. If you point out his murderous record, he’ll seek to silence you by getting his cronies to falsely accuse you of being a murderer; if you expose his looting history; he’ll unleash his minnows to accuse you of being a thief. This is because Mnangagwa has no moral compass that enables him to tell right from wrong. In his worldview, wrong is right and foul is fair.
An example of this is how in 2016 Mnangagwa unleashed Goodson Nguni, who was then ZACC’s commissioner responsible for investigations, against Godfrey Gandawa and me on trumped-up ZimDef charges simply because we were uncompromisingly opposed to his vacuous succession agenda. The situation was so ridiculous that when professional ZACC investigators were indicating to ZACC commissioners that there was no evidence to support the allegations against us, commissioner Nguni himself directly went to ZimDef offices to ransack documents as an investigator when he was not. The false and manifestly insane charges against us were formulated after the patently illegal investigation by Nguni. Later the magistrate’s court declared all the search warrant used by ZACC to be illegal. But you never hear about that. Instead, Mnangagwa and his cronies keep singing their lies about ZimDef.
Interestingly, if not revealingly, Mnangagwa has publicly said that he dismissed Nguni and all the other ZACC commissioners who served with him because he found that they were corrupt. How do you reconcile the fact that it is those commissioners and in my case Nguni in particular, who filed corrupt charges against me in pursuit of a naked political agenda for Mnangagwa? Why is it that ZACC commissioners whom Mnangagwa has publicly said were corrupt have not been charged of corruption and brought to the courts of law to answer to the charges? It is obvious that the reason is because Mnangagwa used them to get what he wanted against people like me who were opposed to his succession scheme. I’m confident that one day the full story will be told about how Mnangagwa corrupted some elements of the criminal justice system to criminalise and delegitimatize his political opponents like me.
IM: You were the first cabinet minister to warn President Mugabe about the November 2017 coup before it took place, but it all seems to have fallen on deaf ears. Do you think President Mnangagwa would be in power right now, had President Mugabe acted swiftly on the intelligence you provided?
JM: No I don’t think President Mugabe would be in power right now if he had listened to my warnings about an impending military coup; rather I think, without playing God, he would be alive today and enjoying some peace of mind as a former president; the head of state and government right now would have been President Dr Sydney Sekeramayi and Zimbabwe would be doing very well as a society undergoing generational transition, leadership renewal and economic revival.
IM: Former First Lady, Grace Mugabe, has previously accused President Mnangagwa of harbouring ambitions to stage coup plots, which can be traced as far back as 1980 when he reportedly unsuccessfully attempted to wrestle power from President Mugabe soon after the country’s first democratic elections. A coup attempt allegedly implicating Mnangagwa took place in 2007, during which you were an Independent legislator. Government claimed the coup d’état involved almost 400 soldiers and high-ranking members of the military that would have occurred on June 2 or June 15, 2007. Fast forward to January 2020, when you made revelations through a Twitter thread that President Mnangagwa had foiled another military putsch attempt in November 2019 against his administration. Now there is growing speculation of yet another coup, and you have observed that this month could spell the end for the current government. Is Mnangagwa going to be toppled from power by a coup from the perspective of a political scientist that you are?
JM: The narrative popularised by Grace Mugabe about Mnangagwa’s coup mentality that predates 18 April 1980 is not hers or her origination and creation. It’s a narrative that President Mugabe himself used to tell on many occasions, including after the November 2017 coup. What emerges from the narrative is that Mnangagwa fancied himself coming into power through some combined use of witchcraft, pseudo-operations engineered by CIO elements from his clan and a military operation of one sort or another masterminded by his tribal generals supported by former Rhodesian CIOs or apartheid operatives he worked within the 1980s to create super Zapu dissidents who were run by the CIO to justify atrocities in Matabeleland.
Mnangagwa’s balkanised and tribalized interests have defined his politics of exclusion, which are now epitomised by crude cartels fronted by conspicuously corrupt individuals like Kuda Tagwerei. It is not surprising that when Mnangagwa finally got his coup wish in November 2017, that did not come with broad-based support in the military or Zanu PF, let alone in the country.
This explains why the public euphoria for the coup was short-lived because it was more about support for Mugabe’s departure than about support for Mnangagwa’s arrival. Mnangagwa’s unpopularity with the middle and lower ranks of the military remains his biggest challenge, given the fact that he came into power on the back of a military coup. His political ground has been particularly shaky since November 2019, when he precariously foiled an insurgency by army elements against his embattled administration.
While it is a general law of politics that coups beget each other, it is possible but very unlikely that Mnangagwa will be toppled by a military coup similar to the one that toppled President Mugabe. It is possible because those inclined to do it know that Sadc and the AU would respond to a military coup in Zimbabwe by suspending the country and giving the military some period within which to restore constitutionality, and that is something which would not be insurmountable or difficult to do.
In 2019, the AU gave the Sudanese military three different deadlines to hand over power to a civilian-led transitional authority to no avail until the army and civilian representatives agreed on a joint transitional team. So, yes, a coup against Mnangagwa remains possible; especially one from the lower and middle ranks of the military who are experiencing the same hardships that are destroying the livelihoods of ordinary people. But such a coup, although quite possible, is unlikely because the generals are aware of its possibility and have been working very hard to suppress it by all sorts of means, including running ahead of it by piling pressure on Mnangagwa to persuade him to go peacefully or risk being removed violently.
Rather than being removed in an outright military coup as was witnessed in November 2017, Mnangagwa is likely to be removed in one or the other of two possibilities. First, there’s the possibility of a palace coup which would have the semblance of a statehouse resignation produced by a negotiated deal whose package would include a two-digit multimillion United States dollars, immunity from prosecution and a presidential status that includes a modest motorcade. Mnangagwa has been warm to such a deal since his Kwekwe chat with Chiwenga but his cronies and cartelists are not happy with it. Already, the likes of Kuda Tagwirei have become regular if not daily visitors at State House with whispers that they are assessing possible arrangements and budgets for Glens and Biddulphs removal options, should an emergency arise for Mnangagwa and family to quickly exit State House in a negotiated departure.
The other possibility, which has been simmering in the body politic for some six or so months now, is a popular revolution through which the people will take to the streets and demand change. In November 2017, military tanks come out in the streets in the name of change and they were embraced and celebrated by the people. Later, the same military tanks turned their guns on the people and rolled over them on 1 august 2018 and on 14 to 28 January 2019.
Now the tables are starting to turn; it’s the people who are palpably ready to come out in the streets to demand change. The burning question of the moment is whether the military tanks will return the favour and embrace the people, this time around. This is going to be the final test for the tanks: will they embrace the people the day the people come out in the streets, as they might do soon and very soon? The clock is steadily ticking and tocking.
IM: You’re arguably one of the most influential and powerful cabinet minister to have emerged in Zimbabwe. At the peak of your powers as information and publicity minister between 2000 and 2005, a South African publication even suggested that you had become President Mugabe’s de facto prime minister, literally running government, as all ministers had to run their policies through your office for official government communications. That influence and power were felt again, when you returned to the same post from 2013 to 2015, with former Vice President Joice Mujuru wanting you dismissed, for causing political headaches. Are you a scheming politician?
JM: Hahaha. A scheming politician? That has a devious ring. But hell no. I’m not a scheming politician. I have come to understand that demagogues who dominate politics expect everyone to be dogmatic like them.
There are two scenarios that are common in politics which I find to be abominable opprobrium, one is where the gun dictates politics and the other is where dogma dictates politics.
Surely, there must be a cause why God endowed human beings with the faculty of reason. Unfortunately, I have since learnt the hard way that if you apply the faculty of reason in politics, you are bound to be misunderstood and demonised as a schemer, a CIA spy, a flip-flopper, a chameleon and all other epithets on offer by thoughtless demagogues who want the world to think dogma is a virtue and the foundation of consistency in politics.
But, even worse, if you apply the faculty of reason in politics and you use it to eloquently to articulate and explain things and situations, especially as a spokesperson, then by definition you get blamed for things you know nothing about it, which are done by the inarticulate gun-toting and dogmatic demagogues who do dastardly things.
For example, you hear people routinely claiming that I managed and ran the Zanu PF media campaign in the 2008 presidential runoff election when the truth is that its Olivia Muchena who did that, deputised by George Charamba. And it’s the same Olivia Muchena who was higher education minister when Grace Mugabe was controversially admitted into a doctoral programme at the University of Zimbabwe, leading to her graduation in 2014 overseen by Muchena as a minister. But you never hear Muchena’s name raised about that nor do people bother to ask Muchena to account for her role in Grace Mugabe’s PhD saga.
The reflex is for malicious people who always carry with them an axe against me to go after Jonathan Moyo and see how he answers to the false charges because it is more exciting and sexier to do that even though there’s no cause for it whatsoever.
IM: Let’s talk about your recently published new book “Excelgate”. Some say it’s a dossier of sour grapes against government, since you’re no longer part of their patronage system. Others contend that, you’re emotionally invested a person, to tell the story of poll pilfering in Zimbabwe by the ruling Zanu PF, and that you’re only exposing electoral fraud as part of a revenge mission, for being on the losing side of the 15 November 2017 coup that has since proven to have been nothing but an internal ruling party implosion. What say you?
JM: The claims you have outlined as my alleged motives for publishing “Excelgate” are outrageous.
I would have thought that the only time when a person’s motive is legitimately called into question is where they are accused of a crime and the matter is being argued in court. But for people to not only seek a motive for my writing a scholarly book but to also go a step further and assign to me motives such as the examples in your question is just bizarre.
I’m a trained academic and I have researched and published one of the most significant books on electoral politics in Zimbabwe, ‘Voting for Democracy”. My new book, “Excelgate”, is a natural sequel to “Voting for Democracy” and is bolstered by my practical experience and exposure and access to how elections are actually run in Zimbabwe.
The test of “Excelgate” cannot reasonably be about my motive for writing the book but about whether the book empirically answers the question of how the 2018 presidential election in Zimbabwe was stolen for Mnangagwa against Nelson Chamisa. And of course, the book answers that question conclusively. Just watch the space and you’ll see what’s going to happen as the cookie begins to crumble. The evidence in ‘Excelgate” against the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC), is damning. But besides providing empirical evidence on how the 2018 presidential election was stolen, “Excelgate” also explains how elections in Zimbabwe should be run versus how they have been run. I have no doubt that “Excelgate” will withstand the test of time as a key reference text for students and practitioners of electoral politics in Zimbabwe.
IM: Vice President, Constantino Chiwenga, sued you for defamation and demanded $5 million in damages for a press statement you issued on 9 July 2017, insinuating that he did not earn his doctorate degree with the University of KwaZulu Natal, but someone wrote his thesis on his behalf. However both of you, according to press reports have decided to settle the matter, which had escalated to the Supreme Court outside court. By making peace with the VP, does it mean you are now friends and allies. What’s your SWOT analysis on Chiwenga’s capabilities and temperament to be Zimbabwe President?
JM: Regarding the defamation suit, the matter is in court and therefore it is sub judice. So that question is for another day. I have full confidence in the way that my lawyers are dealing with the case.
As for Chiwenga’s capabilities and temperament, the word out there is that while he has a hands-on, pragmatic and decisive approach to decision making that has endeared him to public servants and stakeholders who want to get things done; he also has a terrible temperament that is unsuitable for managing public affairs in a civilian, democratic and constitutional context. It seems to me that Chiwenga forgot to leave his gun at the barracks and took it with him to politics. That might engender fear, but it will never engender consent or inspiration; which can only come from rational persuasion and not the gun.
The only way Chiwenga and other generals who are now dabbling in politics can be influential with the possibility of making a positive difference is if they take from the barracks, not their guns, but the discipline and strategic thinking and innovation that is found in modern and professional armies. Things like the Internet and cellphones that civilians around the world now enjoy came from the American military.
If truth be told like it is, the Army in Zimbabwe today is in deep trouble and it needs to have something positive to show for its existence as a matter of urgency or else it is doomed.
So far, the military’s dalliance with Zanu PF has not brought new ways of doing politics that are worthy of support or emulation. If anything, there’s blood on the floor because of the Army’s entrance into politics in ways that had not been seen before November 2017.
While Mnangagwa and General PV Sibanda are directly accountable for the atrocities committed by the Army on 1 August 2018 and 14 to 28 January 2019, Chiwenga has a collateral association with those atrocities, which he has never condemned or distanced himself from.
It is a sad fact and unfortunate commentary on our country that Zimbabwe is the only one in the region where people with blood on their hands continue to be in the nation’s leadership stakes. There’s no way the country is going to move forward in this kind of scenario. Zimbabwe desperately needs a transition, and new leadership to preside over that transition. The time for the Mgagao comrades to retire has come, and it is important for them to retire honourably by putting Zimbabwe’s interests ahead of their personal interests as the country’s self-proclaimed stakeholders.
In this connection, Chiwenga could play a historic role as a kingmaker for the transition. He’s well-paced to do that, and history would reward and honour him handsomely and permanently if he did that. Should the people take to the streets to demand the change that they have been denied for much too long, Chiwenga should embrace them as an act of statesmanship that he’s capable of and is expected to discharge in response to a historic calling which he missed in 2017 and cannot afford to miss, yet again.
IM: There are reports that you want to smuggle yourself to joining the MDC Alliance, after you made it official on your Twitter handle a few days ago that: “I will never be Zanu PF, again.” The state media has accused you of allegedly mobilising funds for the opposition’s 2018 presidential election campaign, and that you are now Nelson Chamisa’s special advisor. Are you joining Chamisa, because hitherto we know you to be without a political party affiliation, post the 2017 coup?
JM: Yes, Zanu PF is the only political party to which I have belonged as a member and as a part of its leadership but no, I will never be Zanu PF again; never.
However, to say I will never be Zanu PF again does not mean I want to smuggle myself into the MDC Alliance. No. As a matter of fact, I have never sought the membership of the MDC nor has the MDC ever offered me its membership. I have made it clear that I do not seek to be a member of the MDC. No.
But I have also made it clear that in the 2018 harmonised election I with Edmund Kudzayi and Patrick Zhuwao supported the MDC-Alliance and we produced campaign adverts which we flighted on YouTube, ZBC television and radio, ZiFm, StarFm, NewsDay, Daily News and The Standard using our own resources. All along, we were quiet about this, and in fact we did not intend to ever say anything about it, until we were pushed to speak out by some self-proclaimed MDC stockholders who can be needlessly provocative.
I am very clear that I have a right to make my political choices in an election and to use my resources to support and communicate those choices without reference to anyone. I do not have any regrets for having supported the MDC-Alliance and I do not owe anyone any explanation or apology for having actively communicated my support with a view to persuading others. But for the avoidance of any doubt, as we speak, I’m not a member of any political party and I have no intention of joining or forming any political party; save to say I reserve my right to support politicians and parties of my choice as an exercise of my constitutional and natural rights.
IM: What are your thoughts about cartels in Zimbabwe, and why are the real godfathers of these cartels whom we all know never arrested. Is Zanu PF itself not a cartel?
JM: Well, as often happens, Zimbabwe under Zanu PF has been notorious for distorting the meaning of words. The latest casualty is “cartel”.
What we have in Zimbabwe are not cartels in the sense of associations of manufacturers or suppliers that come together for the purpose of maintaining prices at high level to restrict competition; or cartels in the sense of coalitions or cooperative arrangements between political parties that unite under a common umbrella to promote some mutual interest.
Instead, in two short years under Mnangagwa since the November 2017 military coup that imposed him as president, Zimbabwe has seen the emergence of corruption cartels that are galvanised by their link to Mnangagwa as their political godfather.
The sectoral cartels, that include but are not limited to the fuel, mining, mealie meal and forex sectors, are distinguished by the criminal fact that they are quintessentially corruption based.
Zanu PF has itself become a cartel by dint of being the new springboard and home base of these cartels whose number one beneficiary is Mnangagwa. In other words, Zanu PF has become the mother cartel or the mother of corruption. The fact that these corruption cartels have become ubiquitous since Mnangagwa’s controversial presidency, speaks volumes about his unfitness to lead Zimbabwe.
IM: The state of science and technology in our country is appalling. Before President Robert Mugabe’s ouster, your ministry had come up with an ambitious and novel STEM program, before it was aborted by your successor, despite claims that it has been re-launched. The program was a national initiative that would drive economic growth in the long run, by tapping into the talents of our young students, by boosting Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics at A Level. Does the country even have a national science policy, because scientific innovation is the future?
JM: If anyone needs evidence of Mnangagwa’s pettiness, primitive intellect and reckless disposition, they should look at how he has gotten his thoughtless minister of higher education to destroy the STEM Initiative that was launched in 2016, simply because of a personal grudge against an individual who happened to be the minister at the time. People who take personal hatred to that extent must not be anywhere near public office.
Gandawa and I did not lead the initiation of STEM for our families but for our country, Zimbabwe, to prepare for its industrialisation and modernisation. The setback will not last long. STEM is unstoppable, not least because of the inescapable exigencies of the fourth industrial revolution. As such, STEM is not just the future that it is, but it is also what makes the difference in a country’s national development today.
IM: Although you’re in exile, we hear that you’ll soon be back home in time for the 2023 presidential plebiscite. There is speculation that former Zanu PF political commissar, Saviour Kasukuwere, intends to appoint you his first vice president, if he runs and wins the 2023 polls. Any grain of truth here?
JM: That is news to me. I’m hearing that speculation for the first time. It’s a dead lie. Let me make one thing very clear, hopefully once and for all, the most useless public office in Zimbabwe is that of vice president. If ever anyone offers me that office, I will take the offer as a big insult.
IM: President Mnangagwa has accused you of being an American intelligence operative, who works for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Are you a spy or Manchurian candidate of the U.S government, and can you shed your future plans with the people of Zimbabwe?
JM: What CIA agent? Utter nonsense.
This kind of allegation is akin to being falsely accused of sleeping with your neighbour’s wife. If you keep quiet your accusers will say it’s because you know it’s true and you cannot say anything because you fear being exposed. If you deny, they’ll run a screaming headline like, “Moyo denies sleeping with his neighbour’s wife”; and the headline would be the story.
What Zimbabweans do not know is that Mnangagwa’s is a disinformation master. He cultivated and developed the evil trait when he served as Mugabe’s security aide before independence in Mozambique and perfected it when he was CIO minister in the gukurahundi years between 1980 and 1987.
For Mnangagwa, disinformation is not false information or propaganda, but outright lies told not just to the enemy but, and even more crucially, to one’s superiors, peers and subordinates. Mnangagwa believes in habitually telling lies as a lifestyle. He’s an accomplished and institutionalised pathological liar. Just last week, when he was in Bulawayo on 14 February 2020, with a straight face and speaking as a president, he unashamedly lied that he cofounded Zipra. That’s Mnangagwa for you.
As for the part of your question about my future plans with the people of Zimbabwe, I think any politician who announces future plans, has no plan. This is because politics is not about plans but about action or praxis. Politics is not about what you say, in the form of plans, but about what you do, which is action. So, God willing, I will remain in the realm of praxis.